pouch his mother gave him, CharlesrnBowden’s combination of apocalypticrnfury with Cormac McCarthyesque description,rnAbbey’s adventure, and PagernStegner’s silly-ass Beemer wanderings inrnthe footsteps of his betters. (MeNameerndoesn’t have to approve of his contributors;rnhe all but destroys D.H. Lawrencernby allowing him a drawn-out, obtuse,rnwhiny plaint, in which the British novelistrndecries a trail as “utterly bumpy andrnhorrible.”) There is another reminder—rntemporal this time—of the region’srngreater-than-human scale, as biologistrnLarry Stevens speculates on whether thernslow propagation of Joshua trees resultsrnfrom their seeds’ dependence on beingrningested by the “recently” extinct giantrnground sloth. Aldo Leopold continuesrnin this perspective, thinking like a mountain.rnAnd, suddenly, we’re back in modernrntimes—road time—as Jack Kerouacrnruns through Arizona fast, as mostrntourists do. McNamee’s switches wouldrnlook like showing off if he didn’t performrnthem so well.rnThere are more treasures here, morernthan I can easily note. I never knew thatrnGeorge Simenon lived in Arizona (hernwrites like a flash flood). I like Me-rn^^. .j!Jij,»y.,rnA’ .?m::: .,mik….:^^^ .jrnLET US KNOWrnBEFORE YOU GO!rnTo assure uninterrupted delivery ofrnCHRONICLES please notify us inrnadvance. Send change of address on thisrnform with the mailing label from yourrnlatest issue of CHRONICLES to:rnSubscription DepartmentrnCHRONICLESrnP.O. Box 800rnMount Morris, Illinois 61054rnNamee’s championing of good, tooobscurernliving writers like M.H. Salmonrnand Rob Schultheis, both longtime favoritesrnof mine. I like his ethnic mix—rnnot politically correct, just rich as ourrntricultural area really is.rnI have only one complaint, and it is arnsmall one. On the first page, McNameernopens: “Begin on the gunsight northernrnline and follow the alternating sandstonernescarpments and dry washes…” He isrndrawing a line around the state of Arizona.rnI wish he would do a similar anthologyrnfor the whole dry basin-andrangernSouthwest, the biological andrngeographical province west of the Pecos,rnsoutheast of the sage deserts, north ofrnthe tropical part of Mexico. It would berna more natural grouping, as he tacitlyrnacknowledges in the introduction. Andrnthat way he could include Cormac McCarthy,rnTony Hillerman, Frank Doblern. . . and probably a hundred writers thisrnNew Mexican hasn’t even heard of yet.rnStephen Bodio is the author ofrnQuerencia. He writes from Magdalene,rnNew Mexico.rnVolodya Againrnbyf.O. TaternHorowitz: His Life and Musicrnby Harold C. SchonbergrnNew York: Simon & Schuster;rn428 pp., $27.50rnThe stores are still vending thernrecordings of Vladimir Horowitz,rnthe imposing pianist whose career is nowrnas lucrative as it was during his lifetime.rnNearly all of his work is out on compactrndisc, from sources dating back to thern1920’s. Merit and celebrity coincide inrnthis case, as they sometimes do—andrnwhen they do, we would like to understandrnwhy. That means it’s time to hitrnthe books.rnThis second biography of VladimirrnHorowitz (1903-1989) barely mentionsrnthe existence of the first one—GlennrnPlaskin’s effort of a decade ago. And Irnsuppose that is just as well, sincernPlaskin’s book kept regressing to the KittyrnKelley mode and the tone of an expose.rnPlaskin’s book was spoiled by whatrnstill seems to be unresolved anger and anrnexploitative agenda. Certainly, no onerncan make such criticisms of Schonberg’srnstudy, which has a couple of advantagesrnin addition to the obvious absence ofrnmalice.rnOne of these advantages is ten additionalrnyears of perspective. In that time,rnHorowitz kept appearing and recordingrnand even returned to Russia in a movernthat rounded off his life and actually hadrnsomething to do with global politics.rnSchonberg’s view of Horowitz is morerncomprehensive and more comprehendingrnfor that reason, and for others.rnAnother advantage is the author’s lifetimernof devotion to music and performance,rnand especially to the piano.rnHarold C. Schonberg has been leadingrnhis own “Romantic revival” since at leastrnthe 1950’s in his books and reviews, andrnin Horowitz he finds the personificationrnof 19th-century virtuosity. Schonberg’srnHorowitz is the book he was born tornwrite. His themes of interpretative freedomrnand the singing line naturally findrnthemselves exemplified in his subject.rnHis love of great piano-playing findsrnits fulfillment in this treatment of justrnthat subject. The puritanism, inflexiblernrhythm, and pseudo-historical consciousnessrnthat mar the performance ofrnso much music today are all rebuked byrnthe example of Horowitz.rnAnd there is another advantage, Irnthink. A biographer (like his subject)rnhas to make up his mind about whatrnYeats called “perfection of the life or ofrnthe work.” Schonberg has made hisrnchoice: he focuses on Horowitz’s claimrnto fame and subordinates, though herndoes not scant, the personal elements. Irnthink he is right to do so. Still, in describingrnthe burden of musical prodigyrnand in showing the extent of Horowitz’srnself-absorption, Schonberg has at least byrnimplication reckoned the cost in personalrnmisery of so much musical achievement.rnHorowitz himself tried to separaternlife and art in many ways—in his dandyism,rnhis isolation, his neurasthenia, hisrninversion, and his neglect of others, asrnwell as in his mastery, his self-imposedrnchallenges, and even his triumphs ofrnconnection with the public he teased.rnHe paid a price in his mental and physicalrnhealth, in his place in musical history,rnand even in his music-making. Tornsome degree, I think Horowitz shouldrnbe called to account a bit more strictlyrnthan Schonberg does.rnSchonberg does his best work in outliningrnthe Romantic context of Horo-rn4O/CHRON;CLESrnrnrn